Ch-11 Extracts: Inexplicable Ways

Inexplicable Ways

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I have no doubt in my mind—I did not have it then and I have no doubt today of the fact of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s death... There can be no enquiry about that.

– Nehru’s reply in the Parliament on 5 March 1952 
(Bose had reportedly died in an air-crash on 18 August 1945 in Taiwan.)

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Subhash is alive and Jawaharlal knows it.

– Sarat Chandra Bose, 1947

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My colleagues, both connected with the Government, have tried their utmost to secure and manipulate the evidence, so that it could easily conform with the Prime Minister’s statements.

– Suresh Bose, Netaji's elder brother and a member of the Shah Nawaz Commission of Enquiry into Netaji’s death.

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Whatever is relevant on Netaji will be shown to the Commission. But beyond a point, the files cannot be made public. It’s too explosive.

– Home Ministry official, quoted in Back from Dead by Anuj Dhar

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Dr Chandan Mitra said he could not understand why certain Bose files were kept classified in the name of ties with certain friendly foreign countries. ‘Are the friendly countries more important or are the people of India more important?’ he asked.

– Anuj Dhar, India’s Biggest Cover-up

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In a BBC opinion poll of December 2004 for a popular Indian hero, Mahatma Gandhi topped with 36% of the votes, Bose came second with 21%, and Nehru drew a blank.

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Apart from dragging its feet in instituting an enquiry into Netaji’s death, manipulating the enquiry report, being hostile to INA, and not recognising Netaji for Bharat Ratna, Nehru’s Government had been so hostile that in 1947 it refused to put up his portrait in the Parliament House.

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Radhakrishnan was awarded Bharat Ratna in 1954, Rajaji in 1954, Nehru in 1955, Pant in1957, BC Roy in 1961, Zakir Hussain in 1963, Indira Gandhi in 1971, VV Giri in 1975, Kamaraj in 1976, Vinoba Bhave in 1983, MGR in 1988, and Rajiv Gandhi in 1991.

Dynasty-scions, great or otherwise, can’t be made to wait: two allowed themselves to be awarded Bharat Ratna when they were themselves in power—Nehru in 1955 and Indira Gandhi in 1971—while Rajiv Gandhi was awarded the same soon after his death in 1991! When sounded for Bharat Ratna, Maulana Azad declined and told Nehru it was totally improper for those deciding on the awards to pin the medal on themselves!

However, whom the Dynasty does not favour can wait, may even die, there is no hurry. Posthumously, Ambedkar got it in 1990, Sardar Patel in 1991, Netaji Subhas Bose in 1992 and Bordoloi in 1999, when all the four of them should have been the first to get it in 1954 when the award was introduced. They all got it when non-Dynasty governments were in power.

Dr BR Ambedkar was declared as “The Greatest Indian after Gandhi” in the Outlook–CNN-IBN–History18 TV Channel–BBC Poll, the results of which were announced on 15 August 2012. Yet, he was given Bharat Ratna only in 1990. In the Poll, while Ambedkar topped with 19,91,734 votes, Nehru, at the bottom at number 10, got just 9,921 votes!

Of course, the only unjust thing the Dynasty did was to have left out poor Sanjay Gandhi!

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There is no samadhi of Sardar Patel in Delhi, or elsewhere in India, although people like Sanjay Gandhi have their samadhi at a prime location in Delhi! The residence in Delhi where Sardar lived when he was the Deputy Prime Minister of the country has been razed and there is no sign that he had ever lived there. Nehru’s house, on the other hand, has been turned into a museum.

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Edwina was buried at sea, as per her will—a tribute to Mountbatten’s naval career. British frigate ‘Wakeful’ which carried her body to the sea off Spithead, a channel off southern England, was escorted by an Indian frigate ‘Trishul’—such importance India gave her. Contrast this with the treatment meted out to Sardar Patel, Netaji Subhas, Dr Ambedkar and Dr Rajendra Prasad by Nehru after their death!

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Incidentally, it is odd why Nehru, who considered himself modern, westernised, forward-looking, secular and above caste, allowed himself to be called Panditji?

Most upper caste Indian leaders paid mere lip service to the amelioration of the lot of dalits, and were insensitive to their pathetic condition. In a Scheduled Caste Conference held in Lucknow, presided by the dalit leader Babu Jagjivan Ram, Nehru in his inaugural address said, among other things, that those who do the menial job of carrying excreta were greater than God. At this, Babu Jagjivan Ram got up immediately and snapped back that having done the said job for ages, the Dalits had already become Gods, and the castes to which Nehru and Gandhi belong should now take up the said task and become Gods!

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An appeal of Ambedkar to Nehru and Radhakrishnan for help of about Rs 20,000 for the publication of his book, ‘The Buddha and His Dhamma’, was denied. That was the vinaya that the prime minister and vice-president of the day extended to the former law minister and chairperson of the drafting committee of the Constitution. It was suggested with impertinence that Ambedkar could set up a stall, hawk copies and recover costs...

– based on an article, A Case For Bhim Rajya, by S Anand in Outlook, 20 August 2012

Strangely, however, while the collected works of many other leaders [notably, Nehru and Gandhi] have been published by the government since Independence, the collected or selected works of two foremost leaders, namely Sardar Patel and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, were never taken up by any official agency.

– from the foreword of S Nijalingappa in Inside Story of Sardar Patel—The Diary of Maniben Patel: 1936-50

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I am the last Englishman to rule India!

– Jawaharlal Nehru

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Malcolm Muggeridge, after seeing Nehru shortly before his death, characterized him as “a man of echoes and mimicry, the last viceroy rather than the first leader of a liberated India”,  and regretted that Nehru was much too British in his approach to have been able to bring about significant or radical changes in India.

– Jawaharlal Nehru, a Biography by Sankar Ghose

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Nehru was completely out of touch with the Indian life even of his time, except with the life of the self-segregating Anglicised set of upper India who lived in the so-called Civil Lines...Towards anyone who had the Hindi or Bengali accent in his English he would almost behave like an Englishman to a ‘native’.

– Nirad Chaudhuri
Autobiography of an Unknown Indian, Part-II

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...several ministers who used to squat on the floor and eat off brass plates or plantain leaves in their homes were now trying to ape Western ways. They contended that Nehru considered only Westernised people modern...

– Durga Das, India from Curzon to Nehru & After

Without being jingoistic, one must adopt good things, even if foreign. But, there is a big difference between being rational, scientific, liberal, forward-looking, yet self-respecting; and being slavish show-offs and imitators.

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Bengal Club in Kolkata did not allow Indians till a decade after Independence! Breach Candy Club in Mumbai continued with its sign “Dogs and Indians not allowed” well after Independence!! Khushwant Singh wrote that he was turned away from Madras Club because he was wearing sandals. In another context he wrote that their group was invited to Delhi Gymkhana for a cocktail only to check whether they were properly anglicised and fitted-in!

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It was only when Bulganin and Khrushchev visited India in late 1955 that India changed the names Kingsway to Rajpath and Queensway to Janpath in New Delhi, lest the guests feel shocked at our slavishness! However, Khrushchev did not fail to notice the statue of King George V opposite India Gate when driving down Rajpath, and wondered why the relic still stood. But, it was only in 1968 that the statue was removed, and that too upon public outcry!

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You notice a sharp contrast between the "Motilal-tribe" and the "Narsimha Rao-tribe"? Motilal-tribe, that is, the imitators like Motilal Nehru, his son, the ICS tribe and the like. Motilal Nehru went to ridiculous extent to be more English than the Englishmen. Rao-tribe, that is, the current young generation of information technologists, finance professionals, management consultants and the like, who have come up thanks to reversal of the Nehru Dynasty’s economic policies by Narsimha Rao. Those of the Motilal-tribe were imitators, who regarded knowing English and being anglicised as enough qualities for gaining positions and privileges, and they bent over backwards to please the English and westerners. The Rao-tribe youngsters, on the other hand, are confident professionals meeting all—British, Americans, Europeans, Australians, Canadians, Japanese, Chinese, Singaporeans—on equal terms, never considering it necessary to know Queen’s English—SMS English or Working English being sufficient—or to imitate their mores and habits. They have far better things to do and master, and get forward in life, than to imitate or please the whites.

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